Sad news from the online cat community. Marty, the real life Russian Blue who was the inspiration behind Nyan Cat, has died at the age of two from Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a fatal viral disease in cats that also claimed the life of budding internet video star, Choco Ball, last year.
Marty's owner and Nyan Cat creator Chris Torres took to his Twitter account last week to share the heartbreaking news with fans, writing in part:
"In early December 2010, I adopted two kittens from the local shelter. After some debate on their names, I decided to go for Buster and Marty. Buster was named after Buster Bluth from "Arrested Development." Marty was named from Marty McFly from "Back to the Future." The two were inseparable. However, Buster soon became ill. It was out of nowhere but he had Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Buster passed away a year ago. Things were just fine with Marty. Vet said he was healthy, all was good. Marty heavily influenced a lot of my comics and the creation of Nyan Cat."
"Last week, Marty started behaving strange. We quickly took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Feline Infectious Peritonitis, too. Even with the medical treatment he received he still deteriorated quickly. I’ve been force feeding him and keeping him warm for three days. For a while today it looked like he was getting better, but unfortunately, at around 9pm tonight he got convulsions and passed on my arms. I was seriously hoping to nurse him back to health, but FIP is pretty much a death sentence to most cats. There is no known cure. I’m so sorry. I will really miss Marty. He was seriously just the coolest cat ever. I just couldn’t save him."
Chris later thanked everyone for their condolences, tweeting, "Was surprised to find so much support and love from people all over the world. I'm glad Marty's legacy will live on. He was such a cool cat."
Torres created Nyan Cat in April 2011 after being inspired by separate requests to draw a Pop Tart and a cat during a Red Cross charity drawing event. The infamous video, featuring the animated rainbow cat flying through space to the tune of "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya" was posted on YouTube just days later, and has amassed a staggering 87 million views to date.
RIP Marty. I hope you're having fun at the rainbow bridge with your friend Buster! Your spirit will always live on through Nyan Cat, and you'll never be forgotten by your fans, and by your family who loved you the most.
(Brb, crying and listening to Non-Stop Nyan Cat forever.)
Via Twitter (@PRguitarman)